Patriots 2019 

Training Camp. 

Patriots Vs Detroit Preview: 

Tonight's The Night: 

Part I. 

By TOM

The Preseason games have begun. There is so much going on and too much to go over. Rookies from this year and last year are scattered all over the place. We still don’t have an NFL OLT, but I don’t care because I am Dan Skipper’s biggest fan. Not that I really care (I just want to be proven right;). 

If anyone but Wynn is starting the season at OLT than Brady is in trouble. “We have a lot of things that we need to work on, in every area of the team,” BB said. “So I don’t think I feel good about anything right now. I don’t feel necessarily bad about it [Skipper at OLT]. We’ll see how it is.” We will all see how it is tonight. 

I will be watching the O-line situation all game. Skipper was not a disaster the four days I went to Practice. His one and only job is to get low. He interestingly got as low as Thuney in their stances at the line. I was not expecting that. However, he did slowly get higher as the play went on. 

He still has to stay and play lower. “[Dan Skipper] is a hardworking kid,” BB said. “He’s got a lot of length, pretty athletic for his size. He gets better every day. We’ll see.” He was not a disaster in practice. 

He blocked two defenders on one run play a couple of times. I am always impressed with that. Dominated outside sometimes. He was quick, faking like he was blocking down with one shove with his inside arm, and then bursting outside to hit an LB. He did a very good job sealing the D-end on the edge. He looked great in zone blocks sliding to the left and right. 

He grabbed Adam Butler’s jersey and held him off in a nice fight. They were playing Butler more outside like a D-end. Though he may have been more of a 5-tech. Skipper is the Number One player you need to watch in the Game tonight. The offense is hanging on a Wynn and prayer. There is nothing that says Wynn has to be ready for September, or that he won’t get injured again. 

Right now, Skipper is number one on the depth chart at Brady's back. He is the number one player to watch tonight. There is still a chance he is the starter at OLT in September, or at some other point in the season. He will be at Brady’s back this Preseason for likely three or four games. 

Watch to see how fast he can kickslide back. Does he keep his hands high and tight? Are his jabs, shoves, and punches effective at impacting the edgerusher arc to the QB? Can he grab the rusher's shirt and hold on? Are his feet quick enough moving backwards to protect Brady’s back? Those will be the important questions all preseason. 

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The joint practices are really great for both teams. “It gives you a chance to see where your team is,” Michel said. “They help you be competitive because you’re going against guys that are trying to take your head off. Going against your teammates over and over, it can get redundant at times. But going against another great team, it’s always special to see where your team is.” They are going against players and schemes they are not used to seeing. 

The coaches love them because both sides of the lines are seeing things that are different than they've been facing all Preseason, like what happens in games. “They’re great. Yeah, they’re great, and to be able to see a different team in those situations is valuable,” BB said. “So we’ve worked against each other [enough]. But we do what we do, and after you’ve seen enough of that it kind of [gets obvious for the players]. There’s just other things that we need to cover that we don’t do on one side of the ball or the other. This is an opportunity to see some of those and see different players doing them and different techniques or different schemes situationally.” Both team will benefit tremendously from these practices, though it will like hurt both offenses in the game as the defenses will see what the opposing offenses are scheming in practice. 

Every practice this week the players are seeing things they haven’t studied or seen in practice every day, being done by the same players all Preseason. While the defensive schemes will be more similar because of Patricia, it is still different with the new players and where the schemes have split since Patricia left. So, both teams are getting better practices than they could ever get as single teams. 

These are coach BB’s dream practices. “That’s been good. We certainly had a lot of things come up yesterday, and some things come up on the coaching end that we didn’t cover,” BB said. “So the players didn’t have a good chance to handle properly. We’ll get those straightened out and continue with the process. It just hasn’t come up, but they’ve come up now. I mean, you deal with it, and so we will. That’s the kind of thing that these practices are really good for.” That’s why they are doing this twice this season. 

They’ll be doing joint practices again against the Titans on the 15th-18th. Which also puts the team on the Road for two weeks this Preseason and hopefully helps the team bond a little. But it certainly will get them used to traveling and playing on the Road. This helps the Road team more than the Home team. BB is smart enough to make sure his team is on the road, away from Foxboro media and fans, for the rugged practices. 
 

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